Friday 30 October 2020

"As we work to create light for others, we naturally light our own way." Mary Anne Radmacher

Long time readers will know that I love to participate in Share the Dignity's #Itsinthebag  Christmas campaign. It's my perfect pick me up when feeling a little flat. I take great delight in sourcing some lovely treats (Sephora has a gift make up palette for buy 4 for the price of 3, making them $8 each!)

I do one for each group - the Priceline Mum's and Bub's bag gives you the bag too, as well as lot's of extras. (Though you need to take the condoms out as per Share the Dignity's Guidelines).

Real Generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present." Albert Camus

Kmart currently has these bags for $5 if anyone wants to do the teen bag, and it fits plenty of items in.

Chem-mart has a bonus bag also full of goodies, to really bulk up the donation and save on the cost of a bag.

The lists of items are here. If you give all three bags, make sure you tag them (or colour code the ribbon accordingly)

Bunnings will be accepting bags from the 20th November until the 29th.

"There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up."  John Holmes

For a pick me up for you, and something lovely for someone in need, find some joy in this Christmas campaign.

Anyone with tips on good buys to donate, add them to the comments.

"Charity begins at home but should not end there." Francis Bacon.

I am loving the feeling I got when shopping for the nice things to put in the bags to make them a little special (as well as all the practical bargains to get more bang for my buck!) What are you loving this week?
Linking with #XmasLinky

Weird COVID Halloween


Normally, I would be throwing a HUGE party for adults tonight. But no. And even though we are allowed 20, I don't want to bring that many different environments into our home, and to be honest, when we had the Eurovision party just after lockdown, that small a party felt a little sad and a bit of a downer...

Not entirely sure how trick'o'treating will work, and wish the Govt had just decided it shouldn't be done, instead of their weird rules on how to do it safely. So while I offered to take my youngest around the neighbourhood (and to school families), she has invited a friend over to watch a scary movie.

But she wanted us to decorate the house. So yesterday, I spent all day doing just that. I do have some lollies to peg over the fence at anyone who does trick'o'treat, but it appears the rain may keep that to a minimum anyway....

What a strange year...However, in the grand scheme of things, this is the least of the disturbances, and a quiet weekend might be just what the doctor ordered!

Linking with #MakroTex on October. Fingers crossed we can safely do something this year!
Happy Halloween everyone!

Thursday 29 October 2020



The outside no longer matches the inside. There's no other way to say it. In my head I still feel young. I think I'm young but then I get reactions that remind me that I'm not. At a festival. people will literally shriek "OMG! You're so old!" (to which the answer can only be "OMG! I know!" shrieked back at them, which they then find hilarious, tell me I'm cool or cute but the damage is already done and we know there's nothing cool about me and it's Betty White 'cute' they mean...). 

At Music Bingo we were merrily dancing in our chairs (the new normal) to the songs from 2000's. In my head we were just like everyone else. Until Timmy Trumpet came on (who I absolutely LOVE) and I started energetically dancing. In my peripheral vision I saw people on the tables on either side do double takes and nudge each other (because I was apparently way too old to like such music). I have learnt not to look directly when this happens. If I keep it on the periphery, I can ignore it. But it is a stark reminder that I'm old. 

And then there's the mirror. I'm not a big fan of mirrors, but post COVID, my body shape has changed and I've gained weight on what was always a flat stomach. Ageing has changed my metabolism. This makes my clothes look 'wrong'. It's my body taunting me to dress for my age. Which I don't want to. I don't like those clothes! 

The face and the hair are marching on in time. The brain is not.

My outside...

I don't think about it until I'm reminded. Often with a jolt. I feel young until I'm reminded that I'm not. And it still gives me a little shock.

It's not all bad however. I have learnt to use my cloak of invisibility to my advantage and enjoy the freedom it brings. It has taught me not to be self conscious and limit myself. "Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.” (Samuel Ullman) and fortunately my soul is very dewy in its enthusiasm.

Alle Farben, while I suspect he was aiming it at thirty somethings, basically wrote my theme song. He provides brilliant life advice in this song.

“It’s like you trade the virility of the body for the agility of the spirit.”  – Elizabeth Lesser

(Post for Inside here)

Linking with #FortheloveofBlog (Still doesn't like it. So odd)

Wednesday 28 October 2020

Little things are not tiny matters. ― Hrishikesh Agnihotri

 This week I madly had to finish and edit my story for the Commonwealth Writers competition. Submitted last night (2 days to spare so -phew!). I know I'm not literary enough for them but I like to do it each year anyway. Just in case. And for the practice of a longer word count. It does however make me think I'll never write an actual book - just all that editing and redrafts will be too much for my short attention span!!

I started on my collection for Share the Dignity - which always lifts my mood and also the Christmas shopping for the assisted living drive my friend organises.

I even posted - wait for it - THREE CHRISTMAS PRESENTS to people overseas in COVID stricken countries. I am seeing friends moods drop a little at the prospect of going back into lockdown. Quite understandably. So I am feeling quite ahead of the game with Christmas pending...(I am also considering writing Christmas Cards this year but that could be going TOO FAR!!)

I really wish this stupid virus would go away. Enough already!

I have dinner tonight with friends at a fabulous restaurant in the city, so really looking forward to that!

I've finished both my bookclub books so will try to cram in a book of my choosing before we get the next months. That for me is always an exciting moment. Picking what to read! Sometimes it's the smallest pleasures.

"The little things are the big things. It’s a fundamental shift in...experiencing your world with joy.” ― Richie Norton

Linking with #Dreamteam and #NaturesNotes

Navigating Baby

Sunday 25 October 2020

Strange light

The first picture is light pollution and the second is the sun shining through the clouds early on a grey and very overcast morning.

In the dark times, the light still fights hard to shine. 

Sometimes we just have to notice it.

Linking with #SkyWatch



Inside I feel like a 30 year old. There's a spring in my step, and I'm on the look out for fun! I'm more confident than I was as a teen or early twenties. 

I'm content, even enthusiastic about daily life.

I know how to lift my mood if I'm down, and usually can with minimal effort.

Unfortunately, inside does not match the we shall see next week!

Because I don't have a camera inside my brain, here are photos of inside (buildings).

(see the follow up Outside here)

Linking with #RubyTuesdayToo and #AwwwMondays

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday Navigating Baby

Tuesday 20 October 2020

After all, spinning is its own reward. There wouldn't be carousels if it weren't so. Adam Gopnik

 Or pottery wheels.

I tried an introduction to pottery class at Clay Sydney. It was 90 minutes of hands on creativity. Or just getting very dirty, as I found out.

It was easier than expected but my creations were fairly rubbish.

I did have fun, and laughed a lot comparing mine to others.

I will take home 2 pieces once finished. They are not great, but I did make them. I will add the pictures when I get them back in 4 weeks. I couldn't take photos there because I was covered in clay! Hot tip, don't come in your work clothes or forget your own apron like my friend did. (COVID rule you can't use theirs)

The lessons I took home from this were two fold:

1. I am not going to make a great potter, and I don't have the attention span nor patience to do so. That said, one friend loved it and made three very lovely pieces but she had done it before.

2. Like life, you can start fast but you need to slow down to finesse the shape and detail.

And so a new activity to the list completed!

Torshlusspanik List:

1. Shooting (check)
2. Fencing (check)
3. Play croquet at Croquet Club
4. Laser skeet
5. Off road buggy driving
6. Play Assassins Creed
7. Jetpacking (check)
8. The Color Run (check)
9. Invent something
10. Cooking Masterclass (check)
11. Master a Masterclass (check)
12. Perform a rap song (check)
13. Trampoline adventure (check)
14. BMX Riding (check)
15. Do a cart wheel (check)
16. Ride an Electric Bike (check)
17. Astonish Myself
18. Write a book.
19. Participate in a distance event (check)
20. Climb Sydney Tower (check)
21. Dance in a dance class (check)
22. Trust a stranger
23. Get a truck for the Landmine Museum and Relief Centre in Siem Reap
24. Paint a picture
25. Go Rollerskating (check)
26. Do Chinese Square Dancing
27. Do some life drawing
28. Make something on a pottery wheel (check)

What's new with you this week?

Linking with #MakroTex (I was going to post the Christmas Wreath I made last week but went with this old post as it's more focused...)

Pieni Lintu - MakroTex challenge

Sunday 18 October 2020

The enchantment of babies

We went to Currawong and played some bush golf when a family of ducks appeared with their duckling.

They watched us for awhile and then continued merrily on their way.

While not the most exotic (or scary) creatures we saw on the weekend, it was something about the baby that made us all squeal with delight.

There's something about babies. 

I was never a person really into the whole 'baby thing'...until now. For some reason I love buying the cute little clothes for people. Even people I don't know...

I wonder if it's because I know it's a part of my life that's over, never to return?

Do we need to lose something before we really appreciate it?

I sometimes find myself smiling at the random little person in the supermarket. I love it when someone takes one of our much loved books or toys from the fence. I love the idea that it will bring some other little person joy. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not intending to go back. We already have one big age gap between kids that tires me out a little when I realise in 6 years time I'll be listening to the same school speech or climbing the same hurdle.

Maybe that's why I now delight in little babies? It's all care and no responsibility.

Maybe it just means I'll be a great grandmother?

It's probably why we got a dog. She's definitely my baby. And we spoil her with love. Because what's not to love about a dog?

Linking with #AwwMondays


Tuesday 13 October 2020

Changing landscape

 I was lucky enough to go and see the very wonderful production of Virginia Woolf's A room of one's own at the Belvoir. I am very glad it was before the new rules came out, as for me, the spacing seemed enough for me to be comfortable. I'm not 100% sure how I feel about the new rules. Will keep watching the numbers and see, I guess. I am very glad they make you wear a mask throughout though. I hope that rule stays in place for awhile.

One thing I've found interesting is seeing entertainment change into zoom format - because for a long time zoom was a big part of our life. Three highlights reflecting lockdown are:

Cancelled, the series. This is on the web and just a brilliant reflection of lockdown life when the world stopped quite unexpectedly.

Who's Your Baghdaddy, or How I started the Iraq War is now available world wide for streaming. It's a musical comedy that was staged specifically for zoom, so not like watching a play being filmed. Far more engaging and visually enjoyable. Make some time for this one, I loved it.

Wakaalat From Home is a series that was made by zoom in lockdown. I've only started watching it but so far, very funny.

2020 has changed our world view considerably, and it's interesting to see that reflected in entertainment.

What I am loving this week, however, is getting out and about and the hope that eventually it will all change back again....It felt SO good walking up the hill to the theatre for the first time since Feb!

What are you loving this week? 

Linking with #KCACOLS

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Friday 9 October 2020

Wise words

 As we approached the wonderful Van Gogh Alive exhibition, the sign on one of my favourite, but currently closed due to COVID music venues gave me a bitter sweet stab. I want this COVID life gone. I want live music back. I know in the grand scheme of things it's not the most important thing in the fallout of the pandemic, but it's still a big one for me, than sharply reminds me of how the world has changed for so many.

But as the sign says, for now, all we can do is look after ourselves and care for others when we can.

Linking with  #Lifethisweek and #Dreamteam

Navigating Baby

Tuesday 6 October 2020

I have never...

 The Torschlusspanik list is a quick way to list what 'I have never' done but there are new things I attempt without even realising. I have been madly writing short stories since lockdown and submitting them to competitions for feedback. I saw one for stories for 8-11year olds and thought it would be a good challenge. 

Many years ago I wrote a picture book in rhyme for 3-6 year olds. It got fairly positive feedback but not published, but I've never written another thing for children since. 

I knocked out a story for the Buzzwords competition and I'm quite keen to see how it goes. I'm not 100% sure I got the age connection right, it's sometimes hard to be 'assuming' how they think and what will engage children, verging on teens. It's a little like speaking another language - you know the words but it's awkward and sounds stilted.

I really like this story though, so I'm hoping it does well. Anyone who writes fiction knows you have a little of your heart with these characters, and like a teenager, you just want them to be liked. 

I'm learning the things I really need to work on are titles, bio's and synopsis. If you see any courses on those, let me know...

Linking with #WritersDen

Thursday 1 October 2020

Canberra - Share my Snaps!


I know I said I'd be on a break but I do like the Share My Snaps! prompt. As the kids missed out on their final school camp, a friend and I took them to Canberra to see the things they would have seen - dubbed the Snore Memorial, Fartiment House and the Pooseum by one of them. I will admit I laughed more than I should have. 

We had a great time and I found it really interesting. 

The weather proved less chilly than expected given it had snowed on the weekend!          

Floriade is now spread over the city, and due to limited numbers we missed out on the Last Post at the War Memorial and getting into Questacon at all.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

We ate well and walked a lot (10 kms on the first day and 9kms on the second) so intellectual and physical exercise to feed the soul.


The Endeavor exhibition is worth a look as it includes both view points.       
Linking with #MCoW  #TravelTuesday 
The new blogger is unusable so I just want to apologise for the formatting. This is all I could manage. If anyone has any ideas on how to get it to work, please let me know. Otherwise I might have to change platforms...argh!